The Summer of 2021 has been named, The Summer of Keep It Simple.
As we start out this middle of the summer month, July, I am extending to you an invitation. Join me in keeping it simple. And a second invitation, let July be joyful.
Joyful July is simple- each day pause, consider a moment of joy- past, present, future and then be fully present and willing to seeking a joyful moment in the here and now.
Be you. Be authentic and true to yourself in this practice. This isn’t about forcing gratitude. This practice is to connect you with the God who created you to be joyful. Be who you are. So no pretending, pretense or expectation- instead an invitation to pause and consider growing in identifying joy.
267. Would you like a more specific task to undertake in Joyful July? Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph. It will take you to Bible Gateway and the two hundred and sixty-seven results for “joy” in the NRSV translation.
You were created for this. It is your birthright-beloved child of God created in God’s image -let in the love which has brought forth your life and let that deep breath be a moment of joy. All month long we will consider scriptures such as Philippians 2 where Paul extends an invitation to enter into his joy. Joy can be contagious.
In our gospel reading Mark 6:1-13 Jesus is rejected by his own kin and townsfolk and he sends out his disciples two by two. Join us in worship this weekend (Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 9am (MT) in person or at 10am (MT) in Zoom and hear how when we are truly who we are, know whose we are, and live from that awareness we are set free. Simple, not easy.
We are in this together and joy shared is doubled. Check out the Lord of the Hills FB page, our Instagram and our website for “Joyful July” postings and photos. Do you have some favorite scriptures around joy? Share them below in the comments, in an email, or send them out into the world in a way you feel moved to do so.
And a word for those who are in the midst of deep grief, loss, sorrow, despair…this is not in any way a “put on a happy face” or “let’s pretend” invitation. Many things can be true at the same time, we can both be in a time of pain, sorrow and grief and identify joy even in the midst of deep heartache and heart break. And just as Jesus sent out his disciples connected with one another, so he invites us to be connected and know we need not go alone.
May your joy list- be yours. May your joy practice -be yours. May your joy identifying skills- be yours. Be who YOU are and who you have been created to be- joy- full.